Tokyo Paralympics: Double medalist Avani Lekhara leads record-breaking Indian contingent at closing ceremony

Avani Lekhara, who won gold and bronze medals at the Games, led the Indian contingent by carrying the tri-colour during the Closing Ceremony of the Tokyo Paralympics.

Double medalist Avani Lekhara leads Indian contingent at Paralympics closing ceremony. (Reuters Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Twin medalist Avani led Indian contingent at the Closing Ceremony of Tokyo Paralympics
  • A total of 11 members of Indian contingent were in attendance at the Closing Ceremony
  • India won as many as 5 gold medals to finish inside the top 25 in the medal table

Trailblazing shooter Avani Lekhara, the first Indian woman to win two Paralympic medals, led the Indian contingent by carrying the tri-colour during the Closing Ceremony of the Games. A total of 11 members of the Indian contingent attended the Closing Ceremony on Sunday.

The Paralympics ended a 13-day run in a colorful, circus-like ceremony at the National Stadium overseen by Crown Prince Akishino, the brother of Emperor Naruhito. The Olympics closed almost a month ago.

The closing ceremony was entitled “Harmonious Cacophony” and involved both able-bodied actors and others with disabilities. The theme was described by organizers as a “world inspired by the Paralympics, one where differences shine.”

The Paralympics involved a record number of athletes — 4,405 — and a record number of countries won medals. They also saw two athletes from Afghanistan compete, both of whom arrived several days late after fleeing Kabul.

The idea was to convey that Tokyo is “A City Where Differences Shine”.After the performances came to an end, fireworks went off and the whole Japan National Stadium lit up.

India scripts history at Tokyo Paralympics

India’s 54-member contingent created history at the Tokyo Paralympics to win 19 medals, their best-ever tally in a single edition of the Paralympics by far. With as many as 5 gold medals, 8 silver medals and 6 bronze medals, finishing inside the top 25 at the Para Games in the Japanese capital. India finished inside the top 25 in the medal table at the Tokyo Paralympics, going past their previous best by 15 medals.

It all started with a table tennis medal with Bhavinaben Patel becoming the first Indian to win a table tennis medal at the Paralympics. It ended with two badminton players winning medals as Krishna Nagar won a historic gold in the men’s singles SH6 category and Suhas Yathiraj, an IAS officer, winning silver in the SL4 category.

There were multiple medalists as well for India as Avani Lekhara won a gold medal and a bronze medal in shooting while Singhraj took silver and bronze in the shooting.

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